Not sure how many of my bog readers know what Twitter is? Twitter is a social media site that asks "What are you doing?" and gives you 140 characters to tell the online world "what's up". Well, maybe not the entire online world, but at least the followers in your Twitter Stream. But, if you are not actually on Twitter, it is hard to understand the Twitter community that you can develop. Most Twitterers know it is somewhat difficult to explain to a non-twitterer what exactly Twitter is. It can be many things to many people, 140 characters at a time. I have been active on Twitter since last December and I have made business contacts, learned quite a few interesting things via links posted, met quite a few friends, and promoted my business.
Now I can add to that list: resolved an issue I had with my Comcast Cable service.
Here's how it happened:
A couple weeks ago, one of my Twitter Buds posted a tweet complaining about an issue they were having with their Comcast cable service. And my reply was something like: "Oh don't even get me started with Comcast! I had such a nightmare with them, I have Dish now!"
The next morning, I check my replies (@'s on Twitter) and see a message from @ComcastCares: "I am sorry we created a bad perception for you. Hopefully we will be able to win you back for more services."
I thought, "Hmmm. . . that is nice in a stalker sort of way!"
I know that there are many Twitter related website tools out there that do different things, such as Tweet Scan that allows you to see who is twittering about any certain keyword or keyword phrases, so I wasn't too alarmed; but left it alone.
Then, on April 30, 2008, I read this article from Media Post: All A-Twitter About Comcast’s Twitter Guy This article is written by Catharine P. Taylor and focuses on Frank Eliason (aka @comcastcares on Twitter). He’s the guy now appointed by Comcast to communicate with those who complain about their Comcast service on Twitter, and a day in his life is one filled with tweets issued by BlackBerries, RSS feeds that alert him to the latest Internet outages, and sometimes being the canary in the Comcast coal mine. A recent problem in the Chicago area became immediately apparent to Eliason by monitoring Twitter, and he believes he knew about it before Comcast staff closer to the situation did.
According to Taylor's article on Social Media Insider "The fact that Eliason’s job even exists illustrates the serendipity required for most companies to get with the social networking program today." Evidently this whole Comcast Twitter thing emerged when Tech Crunch's Michael Arrington complained about his Comcast service issues on Twitter. Eliason saw his posts, and Comcast soon dispatched a team to Arrington’s house to fix his Internet connection. It was, Eliason says, a turning point, but not in quite the way you’d think. Sure, Arrington’s experience with Eliason turned into a lengthy post on TechCrunch, but what seems to have interested Eliason more is how his Twitter followers rallied around him when some said that Comcast had only helped Arrington because he was an influential blogger with a large following. No, his supporters said, he’d helped out many other people too. Comcastcares was forming relationships.
So that evening, I decided to try this theory out for myself. Would Comcast care about little old me? I sent Eliason a message on Twitter, asking if could read my blog rant about the issues I had with Comcast's tech support and customer service last year that caused me to switch to satellite. I sent him the link to the post here on my personal blog. I let him know, as posted on my blog that the purposes behind my rant were #1 to vent my frustrations and #2 the hope that one day someone in an exec level or marketing level position with Comcast could one day read it and see what they put a customer through. I also let him know that I wanted nothing monetarily out of it, since I am contracted with Dish now, but what I did want was to ensure no one had to go through what my husband and I did! I added in the positive points about Comcast: I still enjoy their fast internet service and never had a problem with the actual TV service connection, channels or reception for the TV service, and I added that this was not an attack on him personally. (This took a few tweets at 140 characters or less each.) Mr. Eliason replied with his email address and asked me to email him my account info so that he could share my story. A few days later, I received a call from Comcast's Broward County Customer Service management with an apology, a contact # if I ever wanted to return to Comcast Cable (at a discount), and an offer for a significant reduction on my current bill for putting up with the problems we endured.
Not bad, huh? So, I thank Comcast for actually caring and for being there (at least now) to fix my situation as well as many others'.
Follow me on Twitter and find out what the "Tweet" is going on!?!